Your business can benefit greatly if you know how your service or product performs in an actual setting compared to its desired or potential performance. You can find this out through a gap analysis. For this process, you would input your findings in a gap analysis template.
Gap Analysis Templates
What is a gap analysis?
Most gap analyses consist of two phases. The first is where you compare your current status to the future state you desire. The second is where you create a series of steps that bridge the gap that you have identified.
Many organizations use a gap analysis example as part of their internal analysis. After understanding the gap analysis definition, create a template or download one then fill it up as you work through the analysis. Conducting a gap analysis for your business isn’t that complicated.
One of the best approaches to create this analysis is to first think about your target goals in a meaningful and structured way. You can apply a correctly conducted analysis in different situations, especially in areas that your business wants to improve. There are several benefits associated with the use of this analysis including:
- Allows your staff to identify problems quickly and think of solutions in the form of integrated changes in your business’ practices.
- Offers an in-depth account of how your business works and what areas need improvements like competitive advantages, customer satisfaction, profitability, and performance.
- Makes better use of your business’ assets and finances.
- Helps you come up with plans for how you want your business to look and how you will achieve this.
- Locates the best areas for your business to deploy assets and finances.
Gap Analysis Examples
Why is it important to do a gap analysis?
Running a business doesn’t have to be a challenge with the right processes and tools. Having these makes it much easier to convey the right messages to the appropriate people in a manner that they will easily understand. This is one of the reasons why most businesses make use of a gap analysis template.
But people understand numbers, especially when presented in an organized way that’s easy to comprehend. This has always been an overlooked issue and it is very important to have the knowledge about how much a difference this can make.
While it is undoubtedly true that for most, the methods of conducting a gap analysis usually starts by examining your business’ performance, it can be more helpful to first formulate a goal before going through the process of analysis.
Some business owners look into the best practices and benchmarking of other businesses to perform create their gap analysis report. This shows why this analysis is very beneficial for businesses and companies.
Many consider a gap analysis universal because you can use it for any business or company in any way or at any time. You can use it to layout everything on the table for the purpose of strategic planning. You can also use it for planning for the future to create better business processes.
You can even use a gap analysis to predict your next best move that maximizes changes and consequently, maximizes the positive effects. Additionally, the portability and ease of use of a spreadsheet allow you to talk about something whether it be in an office or some other social setting.
With this document, you won’t have to carry so many documents in your briefcase or a huge, heavy binder. All of the data you need will be in one convenient sheet.
How do you perform a gap analysis?
Even the high-level steps of creating a gap analysis template are relatively simple but since every situation differs from the next, the details will vary for each kind of analysis you perform too. For instance, for a candidate, skills or training gap assessment, you may perform the following steps:
- Define the scope of your analysis.
- Review your business’ current results or state then document these.
- Determine what falls short of potential, what’s missing, and other issues.
- Describe your business’ desired results or state then document it.
- Compare your business’ current results or state along with the desired results or state.
- Document the differences to find the gap.
- Determine the steps you need to take to close each of the gaps then document them.
In cases where the steps needed to close gaps are very simple, you can use the analysis document to keep track of them until its completion. For steps that are more challenging, you can use the information for managing a project to close the gap or you can divide the steps among responsible teams or individuals.
Gap Analysis Reports
Tips for writing your gap analysis
Almost all major businesses usually assign the completion of a gap analysis template to project managers, business analysts, and improvement teams. As a business order, you may also have your own process for this analysis. No matter what process you follow, here are some tips for creating your gap analysis chart:
- Identify which area to analyze along with your target goals
For example, you might want to identify why your business is often short in meeting your output goals. The aim, therefore, is to identify the contributing factors along with the steps to take.
- Establish your future goals
This refers to where you want to find yourself if everything works out as planned.
- Analyze your business’ current state
You should uncover the causes that led to your target getting missed. For instance, if your disbursed funds weren’t sufficient or your staff lacked the training to accomplish their assigned tasks.
- Compare your business’ current state with your ideal future state
Describe here the gap that you have identified.
- Summarize the recommendations
You will make the decisions on you need to change and the recommended steps to follow to bridge the gap. You can summarize your ideas then present these to your team before working out improvements.
Although this is not strictly part of the process, it still can be very helpful to prioritize your actions depending on their ease of implementation and the potential effect they can have on closing the gaps. The addition of this step to your gap analysis helps reduce the feeling of getting overwhelmed by all of the new KPIs and products you are now tracking.